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Hall County Tax Commissioner
Darla Eden 52.5%
Kent Henderson 47.5%
What’s next: Eden wins the GOP nomination and faces no Democratic foe in November.
Certified public accountant Darla Eden defeated developer Kent Henderson in Tuesday night’s Republican primary runoff for Hall County tax commissioner.
Eden captured 52.5 percent of the vote to Henderson’s 47.5 percent in her quest to succeed Keith Echols, who didn’t seek re-election after three four-year terms.
The job, which largely serves to collect property taxes for the various governments inside the county, comes with a first-term salary of $77,344.56.
“I want to thank all the voters for being educated and taking interest in this race and its issues,” Eden said. “I’m really thankful to the voters who went back out after the primary and voted. I think they did a lot of homework in the past three weeks.”
The former finance director and auditor for Hall County won’t face Democratic opposition in the Nov. 6 general election.
Henderson, who has served on Hall County’s Planning Commission and worked as a developer for 18-plus years, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Eden has said she entered the race because she misses public service.
“I want to go back and help Hall County again,” she said. “I have the record of producing good financial statements and transparency ... and I have the leadership to do that. Right now, more than ever, Hall County needs leadership and transparency.”
To deal with what she said are staffing shortages in the tax commissioner’s office, Eden wants to implement a “lockbox” system for collecting mailed tax payments.
Also, as part of a staggered schedule, employees could open the office earlier, stay open later and work the counter even half a day on Saturdays.
“The office is largely customer service, and if we can have managerial skills coupled with the CPA designation, I think it’s a perfect opportunity for Hall County to have those two combined for this office,” Eden said.